Choral artists: Six eastern Loudoun students, selected by audition, recently participated in performances of two elite state-level choral ensembles.
Five high school students were chosen to perform in the 2013 All-Virginia Chorus sponsored by the Virginia Music Educators Assocation: Hana Baktash (Potomac Falls), Padidah Goudarzi (Park View), Ayanna Robinson (Dominion), Andrew Tufano (Dominion) and Jonathan Walker (Potomac Falls).
Melanie Monje-Riberth of River Bend Middle School was selected to participate in the Middle School American Choral Directors Association Honors Chorus, which was sponsored by the organization’s Virginia chapter.
Both choral groups rehearsed and performed at Hanover High School in Mechanicsville.
Stuck on reading: After meeting a challenge to read 3,000 hours collectively during the first two weeks of April, the students at Countryside Elementary School earned the opportunity to tape their school administrators to a wall. For the “Get STUCK on Reading” reward celebration, Principal Richard Rudnick and Assistant Principal Jennifer Zecher were taped to a gym wall, where they read to the students the complete “Green Eggs and Ham,” written by Dr. Seuss. The duo remained stuck to the wall as the students left the gym after the ceremony.
Yard sale: The Cascades Community Association presents its annual spring yard sale on Saturday, May 18, from 8 a.m. until noon. The rain date is Sunday, May 19. A list of yard sale participants will be posted online at cascadesva.com and a print copy of the map will be available the day of the sale at the Lowes Island Community Association Office at 47620 Saulty Drive in Potomac Falls. For information, call 703-406-0820.
Murder with pizza: The Sterling Playmakers present “Murders of ’76,” an original murder mystery dinner theater presentation written by Sterling resident Terry Nelson DiMurro, on Sunday, May 19. Showtime is 2 p.m. at Joe’s Pizzaria on South Sterling Boulevard. Tickets are $28 for the buffet and the show.
Help wanted: Jazzie Pools, the company that staffs the pools of CountrySide, is looking for lifeguards and managers for the 2013 summer season. For information on the application process, call 703-532-0242.
Silo watch: On Monday evening, May 13, the silo was still standing in the CountrySide Marketplace shopping center.
By the time this column appears in print, the iconic silo may no longer tower over the CountrySide shopping center.
According to a report from the CountrySide Proprietary, Saul Centers, the owner of the CountrySide Marketplace, received a demolition permit on April 17 and planned to remove the structure in early May.
The demolition is part of a planned renovation to the shopping area. According to the Proprietary, the renovation may affect the basketball court on Cromwell and some grassy areas.
For the past several years, as debate on the future of the silo simmered, many individuals worked to save the structure. As a result of their efforts, the Loudoun County Board of Supervisors agreed to help Saul Centers find an appropriate organization to complete the historical documentation of the silo.
The silo isn’t the first farm structure to be removed from CountrySide’s business district in recent years. A very small building made of stones that stood near the McDonald’s and the car wash at the intersection of Route 7 and CountrySide Boulevard disappeared without notice during the first wave of shopping center improvements a couple of years ago.
The structure, a type of farm outbuilding, was similar to a storage space or root cellar. It stood near the fence at the Route 7 intersection and blended so well with the surrounding trees that many passersby were unaware that it was there.
When I learned that the fate of the silo had been sealed, I checked in with Mike Priest, who moved into CountrySide in 1982 and lived there until 2012.
“That silo is a landmark, and I don’t even know why they want to tear it down,” he said. “That really is a shame.”
Mike and I reminisced about the early days of CountrySide. I’d visited soon after he moved in, when the silo stood next to the builders’ sales office, where we looked at the area map of planned residences.
As Mike reminded me, at that time, CountrySide Boulevard didn’t go to Alogonkian. In those days, it stopped at the road to his house.
Today, new roadways and new shops offer many conveniences in eastern Loudoun. And, even if we don’t have the silo standing by to remind us, I hope we always remember that we’re driving, shopping—and living—on what was once a family farm.
Fire Chase: Registration is under way for the Cascades Fire Chase and 9-1-1 Fun Run, a benefit for the Sterling Volunteer Fire Department, taking place May 25 from 8 until 10 a.m. Online registration is available until May 23 at http://tinyurl.com/cfk8g9f . You can sign up on the check-out page to attend a post-race lunch to benefit the fire department. The lunch activities include an opportunity to meet elite runner and running coach Susan Loken of Phoenix, a fire truck for the kids to climb on and a raffle of sports collectibles.
Odyssey of the Mind winners: After a first place win at the recent Virginia state Odyssey of the Mind competition in Aldie, a team of seven Potowmack Elementary School students is gearing up for a trip to Michigan State University to participate in the Odyssey of the Mind World Finals in East Lansing, Michigan, this month.
The team, known as “Gouda Minds Think Alike,” includes Jen Garofolo, Annie Rose Greenman, Dani Kott, Becca Lipshultz, Riti Liu, Kaitlyn Olia, Andrea Pengal, and coaches Maura Greenman and Andy Lipshultz. With members spanning the second through fifth grades, the team is the first from the school to represent the state in the global event that includes 800 teams from 30 countries.
“Their spirit, their creativity, is through the roof,” Maura Greenman, a team coach said. “They’re just awesome kids.”
To participate in the Odyssey of the Mind competition, student teams use problem-solving skills to design creative solutions to any one of five or six specific problems crafted for each year’s competition. The Gouda Minds worked on the problem titled “It’s How You Look at It,” which required the creation and presentation of an original humorous performance that includes two characters acting naturally—to themselves—but oddly to those around them.
The team worked up cascading wordplay, unexpected costuming and developed an unusual behavior monitoring solution, all wrapped in a homage to Shakespeare’s “Romeo and Juliet,” featuring the pun-loving Punneo, Silveriet and a cast of characters including Taylor Swiss and Blake Stilton.
On the regional level, the group won the competition’s Renatra Fusca award for outstanding creativity, presented to only one of the 200 competing teams.
Greenman, who has been coaching award-winning teams for five years, said that the win on the state level was something of a surprise.
“We thought we’d maybe take third,” she said. “We thought that was OK. We learned a lot.”
“We were floored when they called first place and said ‘Potowmack Elementary,’” Greenman said. “We were screaming.”
The team is not resting after its big win. To cover the cost of their travels—estimated at nearly $13,000—the team members are offering bake sales, lemonade stands and car washes. On Sunday, May 5, the group offers a car wash at Potomac Falls Express Lube on route 7 in the Regal Cinema Center from noon until 4 p.m.
In addition, the Gouda Minds girls are selling pins and bracelets at school events, seeking corporate donations, and have launched an online crowd funding effort at gofundme.com/OMworlds. The online fund-raising project has brought in more than $2200 to date.
“We’re absolutely thrilled about that,” coach Greenman said. “People are supporting us. It’s overwhelming.”
Stadium rock in Sterling: This week, eastern Loudoun gets a rare opportunity for a visit from stadium rockers, Herr Metal, an 80s tribute costume cover band. The group, which includes South Riding resident Rob Harris on bass, appears Saturday, May 4, at Mahalo Cove, located around the corner from Famous Dave’s Bar-B-Que in the Cascades Marketplace.
The band has appeared locally at National Stadium, FedEx Field and the 9:30 Club, as well as at venues in Baltimore, Boston, New York and Ohio. The opening act will be the band’s alter ego, Dr. Fu, a cover band that plays hits of the 80s through the present day.
The stop at Mahalo Cove is a chance to see a show that Herr Metal wouldn’t normally present in a smaller spot.
“It’s an arena rock kind of thing,” guitarist Greg Gonzalez said. “We put on a real rock show,” he added, “with singing along, people having fun, dancing. We’re very interactive.”
Mahalo Cove is located at 46300 McClellan Way in Sterling.